PLEASE READ BEFORE VOTING: voting should be based on player performances in Serie A/Coppa Italia from the 90/91 season to 99/00. Performances outside this timeframe or other competitions do not count. TEAM ONENILTOTHEARSENAL Spoiler: Formation before updated VS TEAM 2MUFC0/INVICTUS ONENILTOTHEARSENAL TACTICS 4312 Midfield Dominance In Serie A, tactics are king. The addition of Gullit allows a lot of new tactical options. The opposition is also important so this side takes that into account. The key is to maximize Roberto Baggio. How to do that here? Desailly was key reinforcement for the opponents. So we want to free Baggio from Marcel’s influence. Gullit takes the peak of the diamond here. His total footballing abilities with his unique physique serve two goals. We take control of the midfield battle to control the match. 90s Serie A was much about dictating tempo to the opponent at the pace you wanted. We aim to control the midfield here and dictate the tempo. We aim to control the midfield with Gullit, Dino, Marocchi and Cois. Cois will go a long way to slowing down Zidane and the Gullit dropping into midfield ensures a dominance there. Gullit can also spark moves from all over the pitch. Gullit at the diamond tip also serves to free the Divine Ponytail to maximize his offensive impact. Roberto Baggio is in his highest goal scoring form here along with Careca to offer a sharp spearhead. The tactic is designed to free Roberto Baggio to penetrate against the weakest defender, Tudor. He plays the position this time he won the Ballon for in ‘93. On defense I highlight the leadership of Minotti. Lorenzo Minotti One of the hidden gems of this draft. Minotti was a key player in Parma’s Parmalat years of the 1990s that saw Parma achieve an amount of success for a club of its size and origin. They achieved a historic promotion to Serie A in 1990. In their first years in Serie A they finished 6th, 7th, 3rd, 5th and then 3rd again in 1994/95. A phenomenal achievement for a club just earning promotion and playing against the giants of Serie A - Juventus, AC Milan and Inter plus a half dozen other ambitious sides. Minotti was a huge part of establishing Parma in the early 90s and providing a solid foundation for many great signings in the coming years. Considered the heart of Parma’s defense and captain of the side during this era. Minotti was a classic, savvy Italian sweeper capable of excellent game reading, timing and very quick. He was also used to dictating play from the back and had great passing range. 2MUFC0/INVICTUS TACTICS Player Profiles Spoiler: Stefano Tacconi (Juve/Genoa 1900-1995) Standing 6’ 2 (1.88m), and supremely athletic – particularly for the era in which he played – Tacconi cut an imposing figure for opposing strikers, often panicking them into making mistakes which then allowed him to make comfortable saves. He would concede 29 goals in his first season, winning the Scudetto, but it would be in European action where he truly made the difference, starting a trend that would continue throughout his time with the club. More info here. Spoiler: Jocelyn Angloma (Torino/Inter 1994-1997) Strong, quick athletic fullback able to defend and attack, Serie A peak with Inter in 1996-97 ESM team of the year, consistently one of the better right backs during his time in Serie A. Spoiler: Pietro Vierchowod (Sampdoria/Juventus/Milan 1990-1997) Nicknamed lo Zar, Vierchowod was a tenacious and physical left-footed centre-back, who possessed great pace; regarded as one of Italy's best ever defenders, during his career, he was considered one of the fastest defenders in the world, and one of the toughest Serie A defenders of the 1980s and the 1990s, due to his immense strength, tight marking of opponents, and hard tackling style of play. More here. Spoiler: Igor Tudor (Juventus 1998-2000) Tudor was considered one of Croatia's best defenders in the period between the late 1990s and mid-2000s. Tudor was a large, hard-working, strong and imposing defender who excelled in the air, making him a dangerous goal threat during set pieces. He was also a tight man-marker and a hard tackling defender, with great tactical intelligence. More here Spoiler: Robert Jarni (Bari/Torino 1991-1994) Complimenting Angloma we have Robert Jarni known for his work up and down the flank, like Angloma able to man the flank in attack aswell as defence. Spoiler: Christian Karembeu (Sampdoria 1995-1997) Energetic, strong and technical midfielder who played for Sampdoria in the mid 90's. Karembeu had taken to Serie A with aplomb, becoming one of the league’s most accomplished players. “I had never seen anyone with a greater work capacity,” admitted Eriksson in his 2013 book Sven: My Story. “When he ran intervals in training, nobody could keep up.” As intimidated as they were by his athletic prowess, however, Karembeu ingratiated himself immediately, and not just because of his commensurate technical gifts. Respectful and learned, it was no surprise when his teammates donned t-shirts protesting the French government’s nuclear testing on New Caledonian territory in 1995. On and off the field, he became one of the team’s most important references. More here. Spoiler: Marel Desailly (Milan 1993-1998) "Nicknamed "The Rock", due to his consistency, strength, and hard-tackling playing style, Desailly is considered one of the most accomplished players of his generation, and one of the finest French defenders ever, who stood out for his leadership and ability to break down opposition plays throughout his career. A quick, hard-working, tenacious, and powerful player, who excelled in the air and at anticipating his opponentts, he combined his aggression, stamina, and ability to read the game, as well as his physical, mental, and defensive skills, with a notable confidence on the ball, which also allowed him to play in the midfield throughout his career; indeed, after moving to Milan, although he initially started out playing as a centre-back or sweeper, and occasionally even as a full-back, he was later deployed as a defensive midfielder, a position in which he also excelled, successfully filling the void left by the departure of Frank Rijkaard due his ball-winning abilities and capacity to start attacking plays after obtaining winning back possession. In addition to his defensive skills, he was also capable of contributing to his team's offensive plays with goals by making attacking runs into the box." Spoiler: Zvonimir Boban (Milan 1991-2000) Nicknamed Zorro, Boban was a talented and creative yet tenacious player, known for his use of feints to beat opponents. He was gifted with excellent vision, passing range, dribbling skills, technical ability, and an eye for the final ball; he mixed these attributes with a unique tactical versatility and intelligence, which enabled him to be deployed in several midfield and offensive positions throughout his career. In addition to his preferred playmaking role behind the forwards as an attacking midfielder, he was also capable of playing on the wing, as a central midfielder, or even as a supporting striker, due to his powerful and accurate bending shots from distance; he was also effective from set-pieces. Throughout his career, he also became known for his vocal presence, determination and aggression on the pitch, as well as his strong character. More here. Spoiler: Zinedine Zidane (Juventus 1996-2000) The man doesn't need any introduction, one of the best players in the draft and most consider his best club football was played at Juve. The heart of the team. Wiki page. Spoiler: Oliver Bierhoff (Udinese/Milan 1995-2000) A large and prolific striker, Bierhoff was a strong, physical, and powerful player, who played mainly as a target man in the centre-forward role. Known in particular for his aerial ability, he was able to execute headers with extreme precision, having scored several critical goals in the air throughout his career, for both club and country; he also possessed a powerful shot. Serie A top scorer 97-98. Giuseppe Signori A player that rarely gets mentioned or used in drafts so we thought it would be good opportunity to showcase this magnificent striker especially in the context of this draft. Playing in one of the toughest and defensive leagues during the 90's it's quite the feat that Signori was Serie A top scorer in 92, 93 and 95 and Copa Italia top scorer in 92 and 97. In this period he scored 151 goals in 260 Serie A games, there is no doubt he is the best goalscorer in this draft. However he wasn't just a goal scorer or poacher he possessed fantastic pace and was a very good dribbler allowing him to create chances for himself and his team mates. He was often deployed as an inside left forward which also allowed him to work the channel to great effect and pick up the ball from deeper positions. He was also a great penalty and free kick taker, being only 1 of two players in Serie A history to score a hat trick from free kicks. A short overview of his career at this link and some quotes from the article: Tactics We haven't significantly changed our system from the last game, our best player Zidane remains in his favoured inside- left attacking midfield position and the team has been built around him. Karembeu and Desailly will be behind him creating a strong base to build from, while Boban will supplement our creative play from midfield, he will also drift wide right supporting Angloma in attack. The formation is flexible and the team can change fluidly according to match situations see the following: We will also utilise Boban's fantastic engine which allows him to tuck back into midfield when defending. Also with bringing Desailly into the team we have a proven partnership with Boban, both winning 4 Serie A titles and Desailly 2 together. To provide width we have Jarni and Angloma who can dart down the wings, with Signori linking up with Jarni on the left and Boban with Angloma on the right. With service from wide areas and Zidane in central areas, Bierhoff will have plenty of chances to score and in his Serie A form he is at the peak of his powers. We have two of the best goalscorers available in this draft, who guarantee goals: Bierhoff is the ideal target man to have in our team who provides a different dimension to our attack with his physicality and heading ability. He will be able to hold the ball up and bring Signori, Zidane, Boban etc into play, he would also provide important knockdowns for our attackers to latch onto. With our full backs being good crossers and Zidane, Boban and Signori able to cross from deeper positions we are also equipped to utilise his heading. We also have one of the best dead ball specialists in Zidane, who can provide high quality set pieces for Bierhoff to take advantage of. In defence, Vierchowod and Tudor will be at the heart, Vierchowod is one of the best Serie A defenders of all time and Tudor was one of Juve's best CB's during that period. Both are pure defenders, physical, intelligent and great in the air, they will be extremely tough to break down. Jarni and Angloma are the full backs, both defensively solid. In front of the defenders is Desailly, perhaps the best midfield destroyer of all time, the team has a very strong defensive spine. In goal Tacconi will provide that last line of defence, considered to be in the top 5 Italian keepers of all time.